In this meetup we will observe and photograph a wide variety of aquatic birds in Charleston Slough, at the west end of Mountain View’s Shoreline Park. We will meet at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 2.
How to Get There: The meetup begins near the corner of San Antonio Rd and Terminal Blvd in Mountain View. From Highway 101, take San Antonio Rd north to the intersection with Terminal Blvd. There is plenty of parking along Terminal Blvd. The trail begins on the north side of Terminal Blvd. just a few yards east of San Antonio Rd. We will meet at the trailhead in front of the restrooms.
What to Take: Our main focus will be the water birds, wading and swimming in the shallow water or walking on the mud flats and islands. Therefore you will want to have a lens of at least 200 mm (or equivalent). You may also want to bring a lightweight tripod. You may find it helpful to bring a pair of binoculars and a bird identification book.
Planned Route: From the trailhead it is about 300 yards to the viewing platform at the beginning of Charleston Slough levee trail. The first half mile of the levee trail makes a large “C”. At the base of the C we can shoot with our backs to the sun, providing good lighting on the birds. At the top of C there is a very still stretch of water where the birds are backlit and the shadows look great on the still water. In the middle of the C there are two distinct habitats on either side of the levee, so we’ll see a different set of birds on each side. We will take photos at several different points along this half-mile stretch, until 3:00 pm. We’ll help each other identify all the bird species present, and we’ll share tips on photographing the birds and landscape.
Bonus Walk: At 3:00 pm, for those that are interested, I’ll lead a short loop walk to the east and back, where we will see other habitats where birds can be found. The birds won’t be as dense on this stretch, but we’ll see species that we did not see during the first hour. We’ll arrive back at the parking lot around 4:00 pm.